Throughout popular culture, and in various Family Guy episodes, I’ve noticed all the same bullsh*t stereotypes of high school come up. You know, with all the cheerleaders, jocks, nerds and what have you. These high school stereotypes are basically exaggerations of what may or may not occur in real life. Whatever they are, I’m sick of them. Why? It should be obvious as to why. They keep repeating the same stereotypes over and over again, as they have done for decades, without doing any research on actual high school life.
There are dozens of stereotypes, usually found in teen movies. The cheerleaders are usually depicted as dumb, snobbish, yet popular hussies who discriminate against any girl who isn’t “pretty” like they are. I’ve noticed that in film, many cheerleaders use make-up, have tanned their skin, and wear revealing clothes. It’s clear to me that the only reason this stereotype, and indeed the cheerleader profession exists is for sexualisation. The stereotype is ridiculous considering that not all schools have them. In fact, in my high school, we didn’t have them (at least as far as I know).
Another insidious stereotype is the jock. In films and TV, they always wear the same kind of clothes like they’re in a freaking army, and they always pick on the normal guys who aren’t them. As I’ve mentioned before, they always pick fights with other boys, and they have no respect for women, and don’t seem to care about their class work. All the while, they are not only depicted as the most popular boys in the school, but they also get away with it. In Family Guy, the jocks are allowed to walk all over everyone else, and receive nothing close to punishment at all.
Why does that stereotype exist? If I met those people in real life, and saw someone beating a weaker person, I’d call the police, or a more appropriate organisation.
Another stereotype I hate is the “nerd”. In films and TV, they are depicted as really smart, but frail, weak, and socially awkward. They are also depicted as obsessive fans of table-top role-playing games, and are also depicted as having no way with girls. I think that this is just a way for Hollywood to demonize intellectuals.
I have a theory on why Hollywood uses these stereotypes. See, Hollywood makes so many stupid, glossy movies that they rely on people being dumb enough to fall for it. In order to make sure of this, they use vile, toxic stereotypes like the “nerd” stereotype in order to discourage young people from academic/intellectual pursuits, and encourage them to live reckless, irresponsible lives. This strategy has been used by Hollywood since the 80’s, and it’s no wonder that society and culture are getting dumber than ever before.
Another huge problem with these mindless high school stereotypes is that they’re blatantly outdated. Many, if not all of these stereotypes have been around since at least the mid-50’s, but they didn’t really enter popular culture until 50’s nostalgia films and TV shows like Grease and Happy Days came out in the 70’s. The stereotypes didn’t become so mercilessly perpetuated until the rise of director John Hughes in the 80’s. All of his teen movies carry the same teen naivety, and the same false message of rebellion, and because of that, his movies became some of the most successful films of the 80’s.
Overall, these stereotypes are completely out of date, but their toxic, venomous influence remains. The stereotypes are only there because some insecure people want to label people they hate.
However, I’ve heard that the stereotypes are changing, in that they are now beginning to favour the nerds they once persecuted. Hopefully, there will be a message that it’s cool to be successful, and maybe the wounds caused by the old stereotypes will begin to heal. If all goes well, then intellectuals will finally be treated as equals, and intelligence will become an asset to be sought after.